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Fuel price dips below four dollars in US for first time in five months

Associated Press Reporters

Fuel prices in the US dipped to just under the four dollar mark for the first time in more than five months.

AAA said the national average for a gallon of regular fuel was 3.99 dollars (£3.26) on Thursday.

Prices have dropped 15 cents in the past week and 68 cents in the last month, according to the auto club.

The shopping app GasBuddy reported that the national average was already down to 3.98 dollars on Wednesday.

Falling prices for gas, airline tickets and clothes are giving consumers a bit of relief, although inflation is still close to a four-decade high.

Oil prices began rising in mid-2020 as economies recovered from the initial shock of the pandemic. They rose again when sanctions were announced against Russian oil over Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Recently, however, oil prices have dropped on concern about slowing economic growth around the world. US benchmark crude oil has recently dipped close to 90 dollars (£73.64) a barrel from over 120 dollars (£98.19) a barrel in June.

High prices also may be causing US motorists to drive less. Gasoline demand in early August was down 3.3% from the same week last year after tracking more closely to 2021 numbers earlier in the summer.

Prices at the pump are likely to be a major issue heading into the mid-term elections in November.

Republicans blame President Joe Biden for the high gasoline prices, seizing on his decisions to cancel a permit for a major pipeline and suspend new oil and gas leases on federal lands.

Mr Biden has sparred with oil companies, accusing them of not producing as much oil and gasoline as they could while posting huge profits. “Exxon made more money than God this year,” he said in June.

A year ago, the nationwide average price was around 3.20 dollars (£2.62) a gallon.

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